Tag Archives: San Luis Potosi

My Faves

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My Faves

I’ve traveled a fair amount in my years in Mexico. The culture and food vary greatly from area to area, as does the geography and climate. People often ask me about my favorite places and foods, so I’ve decided to write a post about some of my favorites.

Tlaquepaque is still in the lead. It is a quaint typically Mexican area only 20 minutes away from central Guadalajara. The Jardin Hidalgo, Calle independencia and Calle Juarez were my favorite haunts. Dia De Los Muertos is amazing. The best churros, rotisserie chicken and pizza are found here. The shops are quaint and ATMs are plentiful. But best of all, the locals are all friendly and there is always music in the air night and day. Uber and public transit are accessible, making commutes to Parque Mirador, Tonala, Zapopan, museums, art galleries and parks easy. Lots of day trips to smaller pueblos in Jalisco are most enjoyable.

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I’m about to begin my third month here in Aguascalientes. I live in Las Flores, a neighborhood adjacent to the Centro Historico. People are friendly and I have found a wonderful church two blocks from where I’m staying. The best gorditas are two streets over. My favorite coffee shop, Buenos Aires Cafe, is close by. The woman who runs it is from Argentina and the food she prepares is outstanding. The best omelets are at Loncheria Fer, run by my friend Fernando. Day trips to Leon, Zacatecas and the three magic towns are great. There are museums, art galleries and churches to explore.

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I spent two months this winter in San Ciro de Acosta in San Luis Potosi. This small town didn’t even have a bank. People are friendly and collectivos are available to Rio Verde, a larger town that even has two museums. Christmas celebrations in the plaza were most enjoyable. Day trips to other areas in the state as well as in Queretaro are best done by car, as buses and collectivos don’t go to many of them. I found the food very greasy as everything is fried. Finding fresh vegetables was difficult as beans, rice and tortillas were the norm to accompany the main course. I did find one place that made Chinese food, but it too was quite greasy and used frozen vegetables in their dishes.

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Culiacan is probably the most dangerous city I’ve lived in here in Mexico. It’s also home to the best tamales and incredible bakeries. I go back there often as my Mexican family live there. The first school I taught at in Mexico is also here, and occasionally I go back to visit. Culiacan has some lovely parks and the main cathedral is beautiful. I also explored art galleries and museums when I lived there.

I first went to Mazatlan in 2010 and dreamed of retiring there at some point. I moved there in 2015 when I was still teaching. But after three years, it was time to move on. The quaintness is gone and the city has become far too touristy for me. But Mazatlan has the best beaches and the most beautiful sunsets, and I’ve been to quite a few beach towns along the west coast. When I lived in Guadalajara I even preferred Mazatlan to Puerto Vallarta. Carnaval  is the third largest in the world. Fabulous concerts are found at the Angela Peralta Theater. Motorcycle Week and Semana Santa I can easily do without.

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I think my favorite park is Chapultepec in Mexico City. It boasts a castle, a zoo, botanical gardens, boats and more. The city itself is much too large for my liking, but it does have so much to offer in terms of art galleries and museums. The pyramids in Teotihuacan are awesome and are a must for visitors. My least favorite place in this city is definitely the airport which desperately needs more than a face lift.

I was very disappointed in Rosarito in the Baja. A few years ago I had planned on spending the winter there. After one week of a very dirty beach and warnings of not to go out after dark because of the high crime rate, I headed back to Tijuana, another not so great place, and then found my way back to Guadalajara.

I also lived in Irapuato, Guanajuato for a few months. This is another area I wasn’t too fond of. Day trips to Leon and Guanajuato City were good escapes. There really wasn’t much to do in this town. Even the Centro are was disappointing.

Let’s end this post on a positive note. A ride on El Chepe in the Copper Canyon is the train ride of a lifetime. The spectacular views made this quite the experience. I opted for a five day tour with overnight stays in four towns along the way. I actually hope to do this again someday.

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Mexico is one huge country and there is so much more I want to explore. My plan is to explore the Yucantan next winter. I also still want to go to Oaxaca, Chiapas, Morelia………the list is endless!

Animals Are Different Here

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Animals Are Different Here

When I lived in Canada, I had a dog named Koal. He was an adorable toy poodle who as a puppy was black but his fur changed to silver when he grew older. He was spoiled by myself and my children. They complained that Koal didn’t know he was a dog. Of course they are the same ones who also referred to him as their baby brother. And we were all guilty of buying him way too many toys and treats. He had a wardrobe of t-shirts and sweaters. He was a finicky eater and we used to drive down to the USA regularly to buy him the vegetarian dog food he preferred. Koal was a very special part of our lives and we were all devastated when he passed away on December 7th, 2008. It’s been ten years and I really miss having a dog. But the way I constantly travel in three countries regularly is not really conducive to having a pet.

Here in Mexico dogs do not have this type of pampered lifestyle. Dogs more commonly are found roaming the streets or barking loudly from rooftops, although there are some households where the dogs actually live inside. Cats are quite a problem as they wildly reproduce in this country. Spay and neuter clinics have evolved in some areas to deal with this. Animal shelters are slowly springing up in some places and the fostering of dogs and cats is becoming more common.

Here in San Luis Potosi, I have taken some photos of other animals people keep in their yards. This noisy pig lives in Aquismon.

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This animal is a neighbor who lives down the street from the hotel where I’m staying.

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I was wandering through the streets in Rio Verde when I saw these.

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And right here in San Ciro I snagged this photo.

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Isn’t this just the cutest photo to end this post with?

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Thanksgiving in Aquismon

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Thanksgiving in Aquismon

Thursday November 22nd. American Thanksgiving. This year I celebrated in the state of San Luis Potosi.

As I reflect on the blessings in my life, I am thankful that I met my new friend Bonnie on a travel group on Facebook. Bonnie is from Texas and she married a Mexican from Cuidad de Valles, a city close to San Ciro de Acosta. Bonnie has been here for a year and two months ago Bonnie’s mother Connie moved to San Ciro as well.

They picked me up at the hotel in the morning and we headed out on the highway. Here in Mexico there are two highways……the toll road and the free road. We used both on our journey. The toll road is quite high up in the mountains and the clouds resulted in a thick fog engulfing us. Unfortunately this obstructed the magnificent view so sadly no photos for this post.

Once we reached a lower altitude the fog dissipated although it was still cloudy. We drove on a road with some interesting stands selling tortillas, roasted chicken, menudo, raspados, beer, clothing and other miscellaneous articles.

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As we ventured further into the jungle, the vegetation changed and the roads deteriorated. We passed several men on bicycles carrying firewood. It’s a long trek down this winding road to get to the highway where the buses come, and people walk for miles.

We finally arrived at the home of the Ramirez family, friends of Bonnie’s. Their son Ivan had a birthday on the weekend. Bonnie had baked a cake and brought along a piñata. She had also prepared a cactus salad and bought three roasted chickens for the occasion.

The idea of Thanksgiving is to be thankful for what we have, and to share with others. I was totally overwhelmed by emotion as we all stood holding hands as our hostess prayed in Spanish before the meal.

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Our sumptuous feast was enhanced by the homemade tortillas prepared in the kitchen by one of the daughters. She did use a press to form them, but a fire blazed beneath the grill where they cooked.

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We sat around the table and talked for quite a while. I was delighted with how much my Spanish has improved and I was able to converse as well as listen. I also translated for Connie who speaks no Spanish at all.

Word got out that a piñata was there and other children from the area began to gather. Bonnie had bought quite a few jackets at garage sales and gave them to the children and some of the adults. They were so appreciative as the little money their families have goes towards food. Jackets to keep them warm in the winter are a luxury.

The children enjoyed batting away at the piñata and eagerly scrambled for the candies once they began falling to the ground. Their treasure clutched in bags, it was now time to enjoy the cake Bonnie had baked. It was delicious!

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Shortly after, we began our drive back to San Ciro. Once again we encountered fog. Some three hours later we arrived back home.

I think about the Ramirez family. They have so little themselves but are so giving. The family of six live in one room. They sometimes sleep outside on hammocks when it is hot. The kitchen is in a separate building. There is also an outhouse which I did not even attempt to visit. Connie wanted to buy them a fan. Instead they asked if she would buy them a blanket instead, as the nights get cold during the winter.

I am blessed. I have been given an opportunity to travel and to experience life in a way that would not have been possible had I remained in Canada. The material things I used to consider as necessities now mean nothing and have no place in the one suitcase I take on my travels. The treasure I have found here in Mexico is priceless although it cannot be measured in terms of monetary value.

Happy Thanksgiving!